Haggard Upsets In Freehold Feature

Published: January 15, 2022 06:13 pm EST

After two near-misses in the Preferred Handicap pace at Freehold Raceway in his first two starts of 2022, Haggard broke through in a big way this Saturday (Jan. 15), scoring a 38-1 upset by a head.

The five-year-old gelding was sent off as the biggest longshot in the field of eight. He was taken back into seventh early on by Troy Beyer, and moved third-over towards the lead as they rounded the third turn. Moving up the backstretch the final turn, Haggard began to find his best gear, and Beyer angled him three-wide for a shot at the lead. He rushed up to the front and poked a head in front as they entered the stretch.

In the last sixteenth, Haggard took the lead, but had to fend off favoured On Accident, who was flying down the centre of the track. It was close, but the wire came in time for Haggard.

Haggard is owned by Jeff Webster and trained by John Bavosi. He's won nine times from 44 races lifetime, with earnings of over $72,000.

Live harness racing resumes at Freehold next Thursday (January 20), with an eight-race card starting at about 12:30 p.m.

JOHN CALABRESE WINS AHDC TROT AT FREEHOLD WITH SHOEMAKER HANOVER

John Calabrese followed cover after the half and then rallied Shoemaker Hanover to a hard-fought head victory over Gemini Hanover to win the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club (AHDC) Trot Saturday at Freehold Raceway.

When the starter said "go", Tony Verruso sent Gemini Eddie to the lead and they showed the way by the quarter in :29.1, leaving Watkins (Nicole Dicostanzo) and If I Must (Pearly Allen) on the rim during this extremely cold afternoon.

With Gemini Eddie in full control, the veteran trotter zipped by the half in :59.4 as the trailers looked to move up. But Verruso's trotter was still in command when he passed three-quarters in 1:30. And when he rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt, Calabrese had Shoemaker Hanover in high gear and the two leaders were heads apart at the wire. But after careful scrutiny, the judges determined that Shoemaker Hanover was a head better than runner-up Gemini Eddie. Three lengths farther back in third place was Shared Interest A, driven by Matt Zuccarello.

The winner, a nine-year-old Cantab Hall stallion, is co-owned by Calabrese Farms LLC and Michelle Rickey and trained by Carol Dunbar. Sent the second choice in the eight-horse field, Shoemaker Hanover paid $4.60 for win.

(Freehold)

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